MLitt Publishing Studies

Miffy creator Dick Bruna dies aged 89

February 20th, 2017 by siqi_cai | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Miffy creator Dick Bruna dies aged 89
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“Some people live, he was already dead; some people died, he’s still alive.”

——Kejia Zang, a Chinese poet

Last year, the subject of my blog was about the death of Leonard Cohen. Unfortunately, today I have to tell more bad news- Miffy creator Dick Bruna died on 17th February.


Miffy Rabbit (it is called Nijntje in Dutch) is a famous character created by Dutch painter- Dick Bruna. Dick Bruna came from a publishing family and his father had the largest publisher in the Netherlands. He is a successful and one of best-selling fairy tale creators whose works are translated into thirty-three languages around the world. The sales volume reached up to 30 million. He always liked to use simple lines and several colors to create the fairy tale world in his mind. The legacy of the Miffy Rabbit  lasted for half a century, in the author’s insistence, Miffy’s shape has always maintained a simple and easy principle, and Bruna never changed clothes and jewelry because of festivals or for any reason. This super-fresh image, perhaps the most obvious reason why Miffy is always popular today. Miffy Rabbit’s surrounding derivatives includes stationery, toys, clothing and children’s accessories. As an Asian, I have to say that I once used Miffy’s stationery and watched Miffy’s cartoons when I was a child. Such is the power of the cartoon figure.

I have read some sources and materials about children’s picture books recently, and I summed up roughly some reasons why the great pictures books appeal to children:

  • The subject is clearly highlighted and easy for children to understand.
  • The book includes a simple structure, an interesting plot, and rich imaginations.
  • Lively language to meet the needs of children’s visual ability and auditory ability, and thus cultivate children’s interests to know the world.

In the end, when some famous people passed away, people always mourn them by various ways. I think the most important reason is that they change the world, make the world a better place, and bring a huge impact on people. Dick Bruna’s Miffy is the one. The cartoon character will still be exist in the future.

-Siqi Cai

Glasgow’s Historic Literary Societies- Book Week Scotland 2016

November 29th, 2016 by Kanika Praharaj | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Glasgow’s Historic Literary Societies- Book Week Scotland 2016
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For Book Week Scotland, Katharina Dittmann and I decided to nerd our little hearts out. And where did we decide to go, you ask? To the library, of course! Specifically, the beautiful Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where we attended a talk given by Lauren Weiss, a PhD student at our very own University of Stirling.

21-11-2016 quiz

The talk started off with a quiz. Needless to say, we now have ample proof that we would not fit into the nineteenth-century literary crowd.

According to Lauren, Glasgow has always been a city of readers and writers. In the 19th century men (and later women) got together to talk about books and reading. A ‘typical’ nineteenth-century literary group would meet up once a week. Reasons for joining a literary group usually had less to do with a love for literature and more to do with networking — networking isn’t just for us publishing students! Becoming a member of one of these groups would enable a young man to meet other people in a new place, people who could help him find a job and a place to live. This does not mean that there wasn’t an emphasis on the act of reading. Members were required to read for at least half an hour every day.

Many such societies had their own manuscript magazines. However, membership to a society wasn’t always needed to contribute to its magazine. These magazines weren’t quite as ‘literary’ as one might imagine. There were a variety of topics that people chose to write about. For example, a more traditional piece of literature like a sonnet could be followed by an essay entitled ‘Ants and Their Ways of Life’. Members weren’t always sticklers when it came to deadlines, making the editor’s job the hardest of all. In fact, the editor would quite often have to include last-minute contributions just as they were. Magazines would21-11-2016 then be passed on from member to member, who would all critique their fellow members’ works.

Between 1800 and 1914 Glasgow had at least 140 literary societies — less than ten of those are still running. A dismal figure until one thinks of all the reading groups (read: with wine) that people are a part of in today’s Glasgow. Reading is still a big part of the culture there, just in slightly different forms.

At the end of the talk, Dr Irene O Brien, Senior Archivist, and Patricia Grant, Library Collections Manager, spoke to us about the Mitchell’s unique collections. Fascinated by the wonders that the Mitchell holds within itself, we completely forgot what time it was and almost missed our train!

by Kanika Praharaj

Publishing Prizes 2015-16

November 25th, 2016 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Prizes 2015-16
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The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is delighted to announce this year’s MLitt in Publishing Studies prizes, shortly before the cohort of 2015-16 graduates. Our Prizes are sponsored by members of our Industry Advisory Board.

The Routledge Prize for Most Distinguished Student goes to Patrizia Striowsky. Zia is awarded £200 of books from Routledge. Zia is currently completing an internship with Sujet Verlag in Bremen, and starts working in January, as sales and e-commerce assistant (German: Volontärin in Vertrieb und E-Commerce) with Gräfe und Unzer in Munich. She can be found on Twitter at @ziabooks.


Eva Rojas’ prize-winning project A Miracle for a Moose

The Publishing Scotland Prize for the Best Dissertation goes to Emma Buckingham, for ‘Protection vs. Progress: An Examination of Government Involvement in the Gulf’s Publishing Industry’. Emma wins £100 of Scottish Books from Publishing Scotland. She can be found on Twitter at @emmakbuckingham, and is planning a career in rights in publishing.

Eva Rojas (aka @literarycoffee on Twitter) is the recipient of The Freight Books Prize for Publishing Design, for her Publishing Project A Miracle for a Moose. She receives £100 of books from the Freight Books list, and £100 of cash. She plans to work in children’s or illustrated books.

Finally, the Faber & Faber Prize for Digital Innovation goes to Emily Underdown, for her work on our PUBPP24 Digital: Process and Product module. Her award is a trip to meet the team at Faber Digital, plus £100 contribution to expenses. You can follow her on Twitter at @EmilyUnderdown.

Congratulations to everyone, and thank you very much to our sponsors!

A Day in the Life of a Publishing Student – 17th November edition

November 18th, 2016 by barbora_kuntova | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on A Day in the Life of a Publishing Student – 17th November edition
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Here at the University of Stirling, they like to keep us busy. And when it’s not our course keeping us busy, it’s all the exciting events that are going on around Scotland that we really want to attend. Here’s a look at what a random day looks like when you’re a publishing student.

6:30 am – first alarm clock goes off – slide to turn off

6:45 am – second alarm clock goes off – slide to turn off

7:00 am – third alarm clock goes off – slide to turn off, though now I can actually see something resembling light outside

7:30 am – the alarm clock goes off for the fourth time this morning, slide to turn off

8:00 am – oh well, okay then… time to get up and do this thing called adulting

8:30 am – a jumbo sized coffee and Nielsen – living the dream

9:45 am – time for another coffee, this time Christmas edition (it’s never too early for Christmas drinks)

10:00 am – lecture time

11:10 am – group work – never does a day go by without at least one

12:30 pm – time to catch up on emails and assignments; but at least the view is good

1:00 pm – lunch time – the Student Union is affordable, though not the healthiest – but we need all the unhealthy food we can get to keep us going

2:00 pm – reading time in the library!

3:00 pm – our favourite part of the week – visiting speaker (and coffee), this week we’re very lucky to have the author Liam Murray Bell

3:30 pm – we are adults but we also love being read to, so it is story time!

3:35 pm – tweeting is basically our full time job

5:15 pm – we the publishing peeps are on our way to the SYP Scotland Freelancing 101 event.. and what better way to spend the train ride than reading/tweeting?

6:40 pm – the panel is on, so take notes!

8:12 pm – night night, Edinburgh

10:00 pm – 1:00 am – bed time varies, depending on who’s all caught up with their uni work and who’s not – also, Netflix is an important variable in this formula

Barb Kuntova


Visit to Booksource

November 16th, 2016 by helene_fosse | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visit to Booksource
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It was one of the first truly cold mornings of the year – the soul destroying, mind numbing kind of cold that makes you want to slip into a coma just to get away from it. The whole Publishing cohort was standing outside Pathfoot waiting for the bus to show up, all in a severe state of zombie due to lack of sleep. We all had three assignments to finish with two days left until the last deadline. The mood was a bit depressing. It was dark. It wasn’t great.

When the bus showed up, my rarely awakened competitive instinct roared into life as if this was the most important task I ever had to do – get on that bus FIRST. Why? Who can tell. I don’t mess around with warmth and comfort. They’re very precious to me.

Anyway, five minutes later I woke up and we were at Booksource, situated in a small retail park-looking area in Cambuslang, Glasgow. Stepping out of that bus was heartbreaking, but we did, and dragged our feet into the reception where we were warmly welcomed by Jim O’Donnell, operations director, and Louise Morris, customer service director.

As a booksource-2distribution hub for more than 85 publishers, Booksource operate out of their 42,000 sq ft warehouse, which holds around 4 million units across 10,000 titles. Breaking up into two groups, we set out on the Booksource Adventure. As part of group A, I entered the warehouse where we were told it could get OUTRAGEOUSLY cold in winter. -25 degrees Celsius or something ridiculous like that. My brain could not compute. It wasn’t too bad at the moment however (though I was glad I wore thermals that day), so I quite happily followed my group as we delved into the massive room.

It was literally stacked from floor to (dizzyingly high) ceiling with books. We beheld the wet dream of every book-lover with continuous squeals of excitement and did not hold back when Jim said we could even touch the books (and that if anything went wrong, hbooksource-1e would blame it on the employees. I liked Jim a lot). We walked between the high shelves much like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea guided by Moses (Jim).

The bottom two shelves (about hip and eye-hight) were stacked with a wide variety of books. From there on up, there were mostly cardboard boxes on pallets. This was to accommodate picking, and every night the bottom two shelves would be restocked from the boxes so that there were always loose books to hand. There was no easily discernible system (for an outsider to see at least) as to where books were placed. Different titles from the same publishing house were scattered all around; fiction, non-fiction and academic books were happily mixed together; there was no alphabetical (or other) system. Jim explained that one reason for this was that some books, such as Cicerone Press’ travel books, could not be placed together due to the similarity of their covers.

As we came to the end of the warehouse tour, we knew we had to go upstairs and go to a short lecture on Booksource. We were all a little bit disappointed as we really just wanted to stay in the warehouse forever, burrowing into the shelves, making book forts and never ever leave. Ever.

Oh, and apparently CDs are still a thing. Mostly folk music, according to Jim. There were numerous shelves filled with CDs, which we approached with caution, not sure what those pre-historic round discs with the holes in them were.

As we climbed the stairs and entered the conference room however, it was decked out with tea, coffee and biscuits. Our spirits were thoroughly lifted, and although we did not quite forget about the warehouse, we were (I was at least) certainly content being in the warmth with handfuls of biscuits (and perhaps a few in the pocket for the drive to Bell and Bain) and hot beverages.

After settling down, Louise told us about the history and services of Booksource. Not only do they hold and distribute books, they also re-price, re-barcode-sticker (I’m making it a word) and jacket. They also provide POD (Print on Demand) and financial services. They have a website, InfoSource, which works as a reporting tool for publishers can use to keep track of everything from sales to stock to order processing. It is also possible to buy books directly from Booksource at They stock books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs. What do they not do?

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we exited the building in high spirits. And back on the bus we went…

Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017

November 15th, 2016 by Sharna | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017
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20161107_2128571At the tender age of 18, I thought (like most 18 year olds) that I knew what was best. Finishing up my A levels in Kent, I was adamant that I didn’t want to go to university and I was going to “find work” and “just live my life” and other relevant, angsty phrases you might hear from an 18-year-old. I worked as an office assistant during my gap year, and all I could think to myself was: I would much rather be doing something I’m passionate about. As much as I am grateful for that experience, I knew it wasn’t my calling.

From there, I went on to study my BA in English Language and Linguistics at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. I’ve always been known to be a bit of stickler for grammar and spelling. My first year housemates affectionately referred to me as the ‘grammar police’, but for three straight years, as soon as deadline time came about, I was the most sought after person.

Copyediting comes easy to me. I find mistakes everywhere; I find it’s either something you just see, or it’s not. I’ve been doing ad hoc editing work for one company for about 5 years now and I’ve also completed a work placement scheme with Sweet and Maxwell; both experiences have shown me that this is what I’m really good at. This may even be my ‘calling’ (although people say that a lot and I’m not even sure it has any real merit as a saying).

So anyway, here I am now, at the University of Stirling, 4 years older than when I left school (and not an awful lot wiser) studying for a masters in Publishing in order to become a more rounded and knowledgeable member of the industry. I look forward to the rest of the course and to establishing myself as a copyeditor in the future.

If you’re interested, take a quick look at my LinkedIn profile or have a glance at my Twitter and get in touch!

Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by mette_olesen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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For as long as I can remember, I have loved books and all that they represent. For me, books gave me an opportunity to travel to foreign and far away lands, and they made me fly through time and space with my new 72363_10208104222105422_6287528146829705713_nbest friends. I remember being thrilled every time I could convince my parents to take me to a bookstore, where I would spend all of my hard-earned allowance. But it was all worth it. When I moved here, I had promised myself not to buy too many books, but that resolution has already been shot to bits. Bookshops are just so much better here, and I have to research the newest publications. At least that is what I tell myself.

I did my bachelor’s degree in English and Organisational Management at Aalborg University in Denmark, and I learned a tremendous amount there. Though I have always loved literature, my courses in project management and corporate theories gave me a broader insight into the corporate side of the industry, which has produced so many of my most beloved belongings. And that is really what got me thinking about doing a degree in publishing. After some research, I found the perfect fit in the Stirling program and was thankfully accepted.

I have worked as a volunteer and coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council and there I learned how to plan and organize an event and how to raise awareness for it. These are skills that I hope to make use of in my future career.

I hope to have a future career in either marketing, the editorial field or as a literary agent. Truth be told, I began this course thinking that it was editorial or nothing, but just a few months in, I have already opened up to so many other ideas. Ideally, I would love to remain in the UK after finishing my degree, but I’m exploring other options as well, thanks to Brexit.

Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by Yun HAO | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I was born in a small city beside the East China Sea, grew up in Beijing, went to university in Hong Kong, and finally came to Stirling in the UK. This is me, Yun HAO, a Chinese girl with a mixed culture background, having a broad range of interests and always being curious about the world. I love literature, art, anime, and stargazing. I am very interested in politics, history, philosophy, nature and business. I just love to explore and experience new worlds. This strong curiosity about the world and my abundant hobbies may be the start of my interest in publishing industry. Too many interesting things are waiting for us to explore, and that’s precisely the reason why we need books.

My undergraduate major was Government and International Politics. Thanks to the subject, I’ve accumulated some knowledge of social science, which may be a good foundation for me to work with publishers in the field. The subject, however, also made me realize that it is no use for me to think and talk about empty ideas only. To better realize the value of my life, I shall be devoted to a more practical cause for the sake of people’s happiness. The publishing industry fits me best, I believe, since I am patient, careful, passionate, and have a sound knowledge of social science and can write essays in Chinese well. What’s more, I am a person who believes in the value of culture.

I’m very happy to study at the University of Stirling and regard it as the first step to the publishing industry. I  treasure this precious opportunity and am determined to learn as much as I can, so as to reinvigorate publishing industry in China as a qualified editor with the knowledge and experiences of the West’s publishing industry. China’s publishing industry is facing significant challenges from the new technology and new business models, but I believe that the challenge can be both threats and opportunities. My life will be meaningful if I am a part of the effort to successfully transfer the challenge into opportunities, even if a tiny part.

Yangrui Wu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 11th, 2016 by yangrui_wu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yangrui Wu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Hi, my name is Yangrui, but you can call me Riri which is easy to read and remember. I come from Beijing, the capital of China. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to study in the University of Stirling, not only I can study publishing, but also can improve my English as well.img_7292

I graduated from the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication in July of this year, and then came to Stirling to start a new postgraduate study career. To be honest, starting a new life for me is not easy, for I never left home for such a long time, I have to adapt to a new environment hardly. And language is a big challenge  for me, because I am afraid to cause trouble for classmates, but I am trying my best to practice my English, but it’s really upset me sometimes, but I won’t give up. I hope through one year study, my English can promote.

I studied publishing and editing during my undergraduate time, so publishing is no stranger to me, but I have barely approached publishing marketing and business, so it is a totally new field to me. After I graduate from Stirling, I will engage in publication-related work, especially in publishing trade, for I am really interested in it, that is the reason why I come here for a further education. I love reading romance novels and music or fashion magazines, and I pay a lot attention to music and fashion, if I could work in a job related to this, I will be very lucky and happy.

In a sentence, I hope I can have a colorful year, learn a lot, and experience a different culture. In the future days, I can use the knowledge that I have learned in work and life.

Isabella Pioli, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-2017

November 11th, 2016 by isabella_pioli | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Isabella Pioli, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-2017
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I suppose I starfb_img_1476973281373ted to think about going into publishing in the stereotypical way most literature lovers do: I loved books, I loved to read, yada-yada; the quintessential cliché of all people going into publishing. And so, I thought editing because that was the only position I knew that was easily defined. I started to do some peer editing in high school, reading creative writing by friends, essays, and college entrance portfolios. I continued editing into college and, at that point, reading a novel or two every week for class, I lost my love for reading. Reading became a chore, and even when I found a book with a promising premise, I could not turn off that part of my brain that constantly critiqued and found fault. Almost finished with college, my prospective career was no longer an option; there was no way I would change something that brought me joy into a duty, an obligation. My senior year of college, I had yet to fulfil the studio art requirement of my art history major. My advisor recommended taking Book Production and it was there that I found publishing was still a prospective career, something that I could enjoy, something that would constantly challenge me and continuously inspire me: to do better, to think outside of the box, to not limit myself, to push me out of my comfort zone.

I have always had a creative thought process and many of my friends use me as a sounding-board for ideas and inspiration. In Book Production, I found my strengths come together. I learned how to typeset by hand, and that margins are the foundation of the page. I began my love affair with Baskerville, and discovered why sans-serif annoyed me. I found that getting messy and covered in ink was just as much fun as engine gunk and transmission lubricant. Most of all, I discovered that it combined the two things I love most: words and art. With renewed purpose, I left undergrad absolutely exhausted, but I knew that more was still to come.

I went into the world for a year, working at a structural engineering firm doing everything the President needed from me, while trying to maintain the CFO’s sanity. I learned how easy it can be to lose yourself in your job, how unhealthy that can be, and how necessary it is to balance work and life; I eventually left and went to work for myself. I knew people who had gone on to PhDs that needed help doing their literature reviews, and I started to work as a research assistant. I learned how to parse through information with a heightened form of discernment that I had never been able to apply to my own academia. It allowed me to see what was essential and what was unnecessary.

I am using this year to learn as much as I can, not just from class and the assigned reading, but from self-teaching. I created my own website to begin to get a feel for graphic design. I am participating in NaNoWriMo, so that I can understand some of the stress a writer goes through. I am challenging myself to do the unexpected. A good friend of mine said to me around New Year’s that I needed to live life outside of a plan that was scheduled to perfection; I needed an adventure. When I applied to graduate school, I heeded her advice and only applied to schools abroad. Stirling was my top choice, and it was the first school to which I was accepted. So, saying yes was an instantaneous reaction, and I have never been so happy to follow my gut as I was when I chose Stirling.